On 11/16/2012, Congress passed S.743, which provides whistleblower protections for whistleblowers working in the federal government, including those in food-related areas such as veterinarians, U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors and U.S. Food and Drug Administration employees.
Proposed New Food Safety Laws
Whether at the state or federal level, pending food safety bills have the potential to reshape the regulatory landscape and change how you do business. Keep current on the latest laws affecting your industry, and contact your local lawmakers to let them know what you think.
The United States Department of Agriculture is seeking projects for Section 10201 grant funding. According to the USDA, submitted project suggestions should be organized around six Section 10201 goal areas: enhancing plant pest/disease analysis and survey; targeting domestic inspection activities at vulnerable points in the safeguarding continuum; enhancing and strengthening pest identification and technology; safeguarding nursery production; enhancing mitigation capabilities; and conducting outreach and education about these issues. The deadline to apply is December 7, 2012. More information on the program can be found here.
The United States Food and Drug Administration is seeking comments from the public on the Use of Food Product Categories in Food Facility Registrations and Updates to Food Product Categories under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). More information can be found here.
In September 2012, the California Homemade Food Act was signed into law allowing small food businesses that produce “low-risk foods” (such as bake goods, candies, jam/jellies, desserts, and nuts) to operate out of a private home with limited regulatory oversight, as long as certain criteria developed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are met. The California Homemade Food Act will be implemented and enforced locally. A list of frequently asked questions can be found here.